Christian beliefs about death

“Death is a comma not a full stop.” Death is the gateway to eternal life. It is the start of the longest journey that you will ever take. Everyone will be judged according to how they have lived their life. If they have committed crimes that cannot be forgiven, they will be sent to Hell, a place of suffering and fire.

Death is not the end. Jesus’ death could have been seen as a sign of this. Telling us that death is not a full stop and that there is something to look forward to afterlife. We are only scared of the unknown.

Many quotations in the bible support the theory of eternal life. Jesus says in John’s gospel, “He that believes in me though he shall die yet he shall live!” Also St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “this is how it will be when the dead are raised to life. When the body is buried it is ugly and weak, when raised it will be beautiful and strong, when buried it is a physical body, when raised it will become a spiritual body.”

There is an existence between Heaven and Hell, Purgatory. This is a place where no one is truly evil and no one is truly spiritually moral. They are sent here to either be prepared for Heaven or to be prepared for Hell. Theologians believe that the majority of people will go to Purgatory first. Most individuals are not morally perfect or absolute evil.

Christian Burial Rituals

All Christian churches remember the honoured dead of their parishes by saying prayers for their souls. Even though all the churches have the same purpose their funerals are very different. Some will celebrate the deceased’s life, others will mourn and talk about the dead quietly. Some are ornate and expensive parties while others are plain and simple gatherings. All celebrations of life are there to remember the dead and the comfort the deceased’s families and friends.

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Over the years music has been written for the funeral processions and wakes afterwards (the party of remembrance after the church service). Many famous composers have contributed to this tradition, for example, Mozart, Verdi and Beethoven, to name just a few, for the Roman Catholic Requiem service.

After the church service, where people talk about the deceased and sing hymns to remind them of their lives, the priest leads the procession out into the graveyard, where the deceased’s body is laid to rest, or the ashes are scattered in the most appropriate place. As the body in the ...

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